Poems | English Poems

Words are like Chameleons

for Nikolaos Karfakis and Sukaina Fatima

after The Muse of Silence by Giorgio de Chirico (Italy), 1973 C.E.

... baby steps, now-with the treasure trove of synonyms and antonyms and homographs and homophones and homonyms at hand / mind you - [words] are like chameleons / a slight tossing of the letters before or after and the entire foreground/background shifts to the left or right or top or bottom or centre / ... / and evoke the first phrases that ever left your tongue / (well, not the ones your mother told you that did do) / and evoke the very initial pictures that your eyes saw / (well, besides the (insides/outsides of the) walls of your mother's vagina) / and evoke the very first words that you learned to read / (well, other than the ones that were put into your mouth by your teacher) / and evoke the first ever scents that your nostrils opened up to / (well, aside from the odour of the amniotic fluid from your mother's womb) / and evoke the terrain where you printed your first ever foot marks / (well, apart from the house/flat where your parents told you they lived/moved to at the time of your birth) / ... / now, do away with the pleasures of tsundoku / and pull out a title or two from your jungle-of-books / that might come forth to be your aide / through the dunes-of-evocation / ... baby steps now!

© Saad Ali

4th Dec 2022

3 x Centres

for Karfakis & Kokkinidis

after The Three Philosophers (I tre filosofi) by Giorgio da Castlefranco (aka Giorgione) (Italy), 1508-1509 C.E.
after The Central Story by Rene Magritte (Belgium), 1927 C.E.

I. Nostalgia

"Honestly, I don't think that I've ever been able to move past the UK Chapter-in spite of all the changes (called for / uncalled for) all this time," S confessed; "maybe because the Present-in terms of its quality-of-contents (relationships with women, nature of job(s), income, social life, beer & wine & whisky, food, et cetera-has never been able to truly compensate for the Past-regardless of where I've been and whom I've been with," he added to the critical perspective; "maybe that's why I've never been able to properly overcome the nostalgia," he further offered a succinct self-psychoanalysis.

II. Alternative Organisation

"The Management at the Uni wasn't in a complete approval of the kind of out-of-the-box research work we were conducting at the School; so, they decided to up the ante in terms of their monitoring policies; after a while, it had begun to feel like we were literally living in a Panopticon;

after a while, a few of us had to face forced-redundancies and a few of us voluntarily resigned from our positions; now the School, as opposed to being a renowned reincarnation of the classical Frankfurt School, has rather voluntarily embraced a Ford/McDonald's-Type Standardisation," G expressed his discontent with the deteriorating work ethics of his former employer; "what if, three of us were not dispersed in three different parts on Earth?" he hinted at his own mildly-romantic condition.

III. Time has Wings

"As if, the time is riding a Buraq -it seems like only yesterday that we were playing a game or two of basketball, of chess at your place; taking a walk to the town centre for coffee and ham & cheese sandwich at cafe Nero; renting a movie CD at a local retailer," N reminisced; "in a few months from now though, my current DL/RD Work Contract with the College will end, and I'll find myself either pursuing another social contract or settling with a minimal social welfare benefit; or I could always become trendy i.e. jump on the bandwagon of Digital Nomadism," he reminded-above all, himself-of the realities of the neo-liberal world; "but perhaps, Liberal Capitalism is the best that we've managed to achieve, thus far," he quietened 'The Intellectual / The Rebel' in him.

1Buraq: in the Islamic tradition (mythology), 'Buraq' is an Arabic counterpart to the Greek Pegasus and/or the Assyrian Lamassu. According to the said tradition, Buraq (a horse, or a horse-like creature, apparently) is the ride that the Prophet Muhammad takes for the Miraj-i.e. journey to the Seven Heavens. 2DL/RD: Distance Learning/Remote Desk.

© Saad Ali

9th Jun '22

'tis rainin' verse/s

for Nashwa Jacobs

after Vast Metaphysical Interior by Giorgio de Chirico (Italy, b. Greece), 1917 C.E.
after Philosopher and Poet by Giorgio de Chirico (Italy, b. Greece), 1916 C.E.


... this pre-PM, (his) reality is lucid. (as the [matrix] is to one mr anderson-where, the 'reality' flows as a simple denominations of zeros and ones in front of his eyes.) and just like that-he leaves things simple. (he isn't an aficionado of the ivy league/highbrow/snobbish diction.)


... and everywhere he looks, a verse or two is aways peeping-sometimes, disguised as a prose poem or flash fiction or ghazal or vers libre; other times, impersonating a haiku or tanka or microfiction. no, he’s not delusional, not hallucinating; he isn't on magic mushrooms or ayahuasca. (but sometimes, he wishes he were-so as to know the 'alternate realities'!)


... but first things first:- COFFEE! but it has to be organic and sundried and fair trade-notes do matter, too. (he isn’t a fan of the neo-liberal ideologies of the so-called free trade.) and it has to be the french press. (he's relatively old school in that regard.) and no, the so-called instant coffee won't work for him-EVER! (he isn’t a devotee of any instant mantras such as 'be, and it is' and the likes.)


... 'tis one of those AMs:- 'tis rainin' poems left, right and centre!—heavier and thunderous and wetter than the indian moonson; subtler than the rivers flowing down the forehead of the himalayas!) the barn of fountain pen and indian paper will do the trick for him. (he's traditional that way; the keyboard/s gives his finger bones gangrene; the computer screen/s, his eyeballs migraines.)

© Saad Ali

12th Feb 2023